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Found 258 results

  1. Dominic Dimanche

    GP 2013 Holiday (and Beyond) Buyers' Guide

    With the smell of turkey and ham dinners wafting to our nostrils, the holidays are already upon us. And with the holiday season comes all the general feelings of warmth, mirth, and agonizingly desperate grabs to get the latest and greatest gifts. 2012 is definitely the year of big releases; the coming of the next-generation of gaming is now upon us and every store is going to be packed to the brim with everything you can possibly imagine. It is understandably going to be a huge and confusing task to slog through the madness of this holiday season, but fear not! This buying guide will take gently by the hand and lead you to the promised land of a perfect gift giving session. PlayStation 4 For the gamer with an itchy trigger finger: Killzone Shadow Fall The flagship shooter for PlayStation has returned on the PlayStation 4 as well. Taking place 30 years after the events of Killzone 3, Shadow Fall brings the action from the tundra and jungles to huge glittering cities and landscapes. In addition to a solid single-player campaign, the real meat and potatoes comes in the multiplayer with its class systems, several hundred challenges, and more weapons and tech bonus than you can shake a Helghast trooper at. For the gamer that“s young or just young at heart: Knack Premiered as one of the first of the many unique IPs at Sony“s Playstation 4 conference, Knack has all the makings of another Jak and Daxter classic for the next gen. The heart-warming story and characters also provides a deep combat and platforming system showcasing swapping and morphing the main player into small quick travelers or hulking titan duking it out to save the day. For the gamer who plays for indie cred: Transistor (Note: Transistor is planned for release in 2014) From the creator of highly acclaimed Bastion, Transistor follows in the same steps with a sweeping story, stylish visuals and innovative gameplay, and an incredible soundtrack to bob your head to throughout. For the gamer with a hero complex: Infamous: Second Son (Note: Infamous: Second Son is releasing in March 2014) Following the engrossing story left in Infamous 2, the world is now fully aware of super-powered beings known as “conduits” and have begun a severe crackdown on regulating the “threat” via an oppressive police state. The new protagonist boasts new smoke and brimstone based powers and later obtains several others throughout the game to tackle this new sprawling world. Following the same vein of the Infamous series, you can play the hero or a thug – it“s all up to you. Xbox One For the gamer looking to rekindle age-old bloodlust: Killer Instinct For those who do not recall, Killer Instinct hailed from the era of crazy 90s fighters along the time of Mortal Kombat, Primal Rage, and other in your face bloodfests. What set it apart from the other fighters of the time was its focus on bone-breakingly long combos that could go into the triple digits with the right timing and practice. And the announcer“s increasingly manic outbursts of “ULTRA COMBOOOOO!!!” still echo in my brain. With their triumphant return, the same fast paced combat from yester-decade is back in full force with old and new characters entering the fray. For the gamer likes giant robots as much as they like shooting at them: Titanfall (Note: Titanfall is releasing on March 11, 2014) When this title was unveiled at E3, any doubts of Xbox One being a true gaming system were quickly crushed under steel mechanized foot. The massive gameplay maps, quick footed combat as well interesting strategy dynamic between fighting on foot or in mecha all will provide a powerful experience for any shooter fan. For the gamer who is too fast and/or furious: The Crew http://youtu.be/FBLxQeDoKTc (Note: The Crew is coming in 2014 now) The only thing better than being able to drive fully customizable cars in a nearly limitless world that runs on a day and night cycle and lets you drive anywhere at any time is being able to do all that as part of a team of other players online and going fender to fender against other teams. From basic street races to off-road derbies in the dead of night, there is always something to do in this grand automobile playground. For the gamer who believes Rome was built in a day: Ryse: Son of Rome What makes Ryse so impressive is the scope of the battles showcased. Being able to see a city ravaged by an ongoing war in the distance and hopping onto the shore, slashing and bashing your way through the enemy horde was fluid, beautiful, and brutal. In short, this is something that deserves attention. For the gamer who wants to kill zombies…with Style: Dead Rising 3 http://youtu.be/DYXGRu23QMQ Dead Rising has grown from its humble beginnings in a mall, to a Las Vegas-esque stadium, to an entire city to explore and fight though. With the latest hero being a mechanic, he is able to build weapons on the fly which gives a new level of skills and ingenuity in the war against the undead. If anyone still has doubts, I give you three words: Rocket. Powered. Steamroller. Wii U For the gamer who sympathizes with Oates and Garfunkel: New Super Luigi U Mario always gets the limelight on the main consoles ever since Nintendo“s conception – now it“s the lean and green machine“s time to shine. Super Luigi U plays close to the winning old meets new strategy of before but with some noted additions and remixes of stages and setups. Also, Luigi“s signature higher jump and air time skill comes back with full force. Maybe now Luigi can finally get some recognition (probably not). For the gamer who wants some Pikmin in their Viewtiful Joe: The Wonderful 101 Following the tradition of Platinum Games“ penchant for the unique and offbeat, The Wonderful 101 places you in the collective boots of an armada of Kamen-Rider-esque heroes who form giant constructs by corralling hundreds of people into shapes of swords, fists, whips, and even cannons to fight dastardly villains. Still with me? Perfect! With countless upgrades and skills to master, in addition to the funny and well written script, the game is a fun romp to tackle. For the gamer who wants words to come to life: Scribblenauts Unmasked Scribblenauts is one of those gems of a game that couldn“t have happened without the touch features of the DS, and when the Wii U came out, it was a natural transition. Being able to conjure anything and anyone you can imagine into this whimsical world only becomes better when you can do so alongside the Justice League. For the gamer always in search high-sea adventure: Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker http://youtu.be/cC5R-MWbufY Harkening back to the Gamecube era, Wind Waker was one of the premier titles and was as loved as it was hated by the fans. But now, it has returned in glorious 3D and it has never looked better.
  2. Over the weekend, some very interesting reports came up in regards to how the Xbox One might monitor users. A screenshot was posted with a broken sentence that said, "because of your past behavior, you can't Xbox Live Gold is required to use Skype for Xbox One". The surrounding commentary came up with the following consensus: Swearing in Skype was reported, which banned these users from continuing to use Skype. This morning Microsoft spoke up about the brewing controversy with Polygon. No, the Kinect was not sitting in wait on private Skype calls to ban users for saying bad words. However, it is paying attention to what users say in the Upload Studio feature. Upload Studio is currently the only way for most users to save gameplay videos outside of the Xbox One. Because these videos are shared openly to others with the system, Microsoft has a strong stance against profanity in them. While Microsoft has the right to keep profanity out of videos they are hosting, they will definitely need to explain the rules to users upfront instead of suspending them outright in the future. As for that confusing error screenshot that made the rounds? It seems to be a mix of both being suspended, as well as the user not being a current Xbox Live subscriber as Skype requires Gold to run. In other news, Sony has yet to respond to people doing weird, suggestive, or outright awful things while streaming with the PS4 Camera in the Playroom app.
  3. Not surprised Xbone won this round considering how hard microsoft worked on it. What I am surprised is at just how accurate it is so soon. I expected a few updates and patches for the Kinect to get to the level it's already at. Good work microsoft... Sony on the other hand looks like they just added a camera as a last minute deal. Any thoughts?
  4. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare was one of the more surprising announcements to be made during EA's E3 press conference this year, with its focus on third person shooting action blended with the usual tower defense gameplay, and today Popcap has announced a release date for the title. The game offers more than 10 maps and three different modes which include 12v12 competitive multiplayer modes known as "Gardens & Graveyards" and "Team Vanquish," along with a four-player co-op mode known as "Garden Ops." Xbox One will receive two extra modes: one that's local co-op with splitscreen, and one that serves as a Boss mode in which you can use Kinect or a SmartGlass device to give you a top-down view of the battlefield and support your teammates in other gameplay modes with intel, health drops, revive stations, and artillery strikes. You won't have to wait too much longer to play it either. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is slated to launch at retail and through Origin on Xbox One and Xbox 360 on February 20, 2014 for $39.99. A PC version will also be available at a later date.
  5. With The LEGO Movie releasing in theaters early next year, it comes as little surprise that the somewhat ironically named The LEGO Movie Videogame is following closely behind. Once again helmed by TT Games, the game adaptation follows the tongue-in-cheek plot of the movie where you take on the role of Emmett, an ordinary Minifig thought to be "The Special," a character prophesied to save the world from an evil tyrant. The game itself will contain some 90 playable characters inspired by the movie and 15 levels in all. Also, there will be a brand new LEGO visual animation style that is said to simulate the movement and feel of real LEGO toys. You can check out The LEGO Movie Videogame when it releases in February 2014 on just about every major console and handheld.
  6. Harrison Lee

    Review: Battlefield 4

    Developer: EA DICE Publisher: Electronic Arts Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Release Date: October 29, 2013 ESRB: M for Mature Another year, another big-budget modern military shooter vying for your wallet. This time it's EA's Call of Duty competitor, Battlefield, with the fourth numbered installment in the mega-hit franchise. Battlefield 4 boasts an overhauled destruction engine, improved visuals, a reworked single-player campaign and the massive scale of previous entries, but is any of it enough to justify your hard earned cash? Much like Battlefield 3, BF4 is all about the chaotic online multiplayer. Despite a new writer at the helm and a renewed focus on the characters, the single-player campaign feels a bit like an afterthought. The good news is that the narrative, while military fiction nonsense, is at least more focused and directed than the haphazard tech demo that was BF3's campaign. Players will assume the role of protagonist Recker as he and the rest of Tombstone squad attempt to thwart an impending war between the US and China. Missions range from close-quarters combat aboard a dying aircraft carrier to a beach-head assault on a major Chinese airfield. As you might guess, most of the campaign is a string of intense set-pieces populated with lots and lots of shooting and explosions. The improvements over BF3 are readily apparent in the dialogue, character chemistry, technical enhancements and a better sense of pacing. All that said, BF4's campaign is essentially the same solo shooting gallery you've come to expect. While the addition of basic squad commands is a welcome change, it does little to alter the overall experience. The campaign is short, clocking in at 3.5-4 hours on Normal difficulty; it doesn't overstay it's welcome and can provide a few entertaining moments if you're in the right mindset. Just don't expect anything on the level of Modern Warfare or Black Ops II. The entire focus of BF4 - multiplayer - is the sole reason you should have any interest in purchasing the game. The scale is breathtakingly massive, with tanks and aircraft thundering about wide, expansive maps. New combat watercraft have been added, providing a brand new battlefield in the sea. Waves are lovingly rendered in 3D and allow for boats to hide and use cover behind wave swells. Watching infantry, boats, jets, helicopters and various land vehicles all duke it out is incredibly impressive in DICE's proprietary Frostbite 3.0 game engine. The most-heralded feature of BF4 is the terribly-named "levolution", which is touted as the future of dynamic maps. While bringing down a skyscraper or blowing open a dam is awesome the first time around, levolution doesn't always have the biggest impact on gameplay. It's only on maps where water can flood the ground level that BF4's map design significantly alters. When it does, however, combat becomes more frantic and intense because the pace and flow of the battle evolves, creating an experience unlike anything else on the market. The "only in Battlefield" advert campaign is surprisingly indicative of the in-game presentation. Game modes include the ever-popular Conquest, Domination, Team Deathmatch and new Obliteration. The former trio are exactly the same as BF3, with the new mode tasking players with bringing bombs to several objects to score points. Obliteration was my least favorite of game types on offer; I typically stuck to Domination or Rush unless I was feeling really adventurous. Regardless of whichever mode you choose, BF4 will likely have something just right for you. Make sure you at least experience a full-scale, 64-player Conquest match at least once before you die. It's absolutely exhilarating. Map design is absolutely on-point this time around. My favorite is the easy-to-love Paracel Storm. It features violent waves, islands to seize control of, a beached battleship that provides additional anti-air support and fantastic naval combat. The weather effects are absolutely gorgeous here and really showcase BF4's attention to detail. Other maps like Golmud Railway and Dawnbreaker offer unique experiences, whether it's a roving capture point on a train or street-by-street inner city grudge matches. Combat feels faster and is more evenly balanced this time around. Sniper rifles are as powerful as ever, matched by a great selection of assault weapons and light machine guns. Most of the classes can mix and match unlock weapons, though the signature guns are still class-centric. The one major change in the class system is the addition of C4 to the Recon's armory. As a result, Recon has become my go-to for almost every long-range engagement due to its versatility. Engineer is also a great choice because of its anti-armor capabilities, crucial in vehicle-heavy Conquest maps. The multiplayer is so refined and entertaining that it's a shame the campaign wasn't shown the same level of love and attention. The single-player is by no means bad, but when compared against the online component, one has to wonder why DICE even bothers. Battlefield is best when it doesn't try to ape Call of Duty because it offers a unique experience that Call of Duty could only dream of offering. At least the campaign is supplemented by fantastic visuals and audio. The newest incarnation of the Frostbite engine offers beautiful particle effects and enhanced textures and lighting. The audio has also been improved, providing the guns a punchier, clearer sound. In addition, the voice-acting is well done and the ambient battle chatter is pitch perfect. Few shooters are as atmospheric as BF4, and DICE is to be congratulated on a spectacularly beautiful game. Sadly, BF4 is still quite buggy in spots. While this launch has been considerably smoother and more stable than BF3, I've still encountered no less than 3-4 crashes every time I start playing. It seems to be sporadic and server-involved, which means the most important part of the multiplayer desperately needs attention. If the servers are foggy and bugged, BF4 stands to infringe upon the reputation of its best component. All that said, it's still better than any other recent EA launch (especially when compared against SimCity). The bigger issue I have with BF4 has nothing to do with the technical composition. Rather, it's the fact that the game doesn't do much to innovate or change the formula. While the new maps, combat tweaks and visual enhancements are great, the lack of good new game modes and a less-than-stellar campaign have left me wanting. This should have been what BF3 was, yet I have to purchase a brand new game to get the same fundamental experience. The good news is Battlefield isn't an annualized franchise so I don't feel the same franchise fatigue as I might about other popular shooter series. Is BF4 absolutely worth your money? If you enjoy a multiplayer experience unlike anything else on the market and want to show off some snazzy visuals, the answer is an overwhelming yes. Even if you only have a passing interest in shooters, BF4 is the biggest, best thing on the market that isn't ArmA III; few games are as gorgeous, well-thought out or explosive as it. While it might have some technical issues and doesn't do much to rock the boat, it's still a great package in the end. Pros: + Exciting, large-scale combat + Improved single-player campaign + Snazzy production values + It's classic Battlefield Cons: - Campaign is still meh - Technical issues - It's classic Battlefield Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great Battlefield 4 is an exciting, intense shooter that does what virtually no other game can. It's unique, explosive and beautiful.
  7. It's been a little while since we last heard about Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, but Konami recently spilled the beans on when we can expect to see the game release - Spring 2014. As a prologue experience to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Ground Zeroes will introduce "key gameplay components" that will be fully realized in the latter game, and act as "a bridge between the linearity of existing titles and the fully open-world of The Phantom Pain. The plot in Ground Zeroes begins with a rescue mission as players infiltrate a Cuban prison camp which sets in motion the plot lines for The Phantom Pain. Time of day and weather are said to have a dynamic effect on the game and its missions, thanks in part to the use of Kojima Production's new FOX Engine. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes will be released for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One next Spring.
  8. Jason Clement

    Titanfall Exclusive to Microsoft Forever

    http://www.joystiq.com/2013/10/29/titanfall-exclusive-to-xbox-one-xbox-360-and-pc-forever/ Not the newest news, but curious to hear what your guys' thoughts are on this. Titanfall is probably the most anticipated next-gen game (even above Watch Dogs, I'd say), so this is a huge win for MS. I'm still also not sure why EA decided to make it super exclusive, but they must have some deep ties with MS nowadays. The lifetime exclusivity might indicate that MS partially funded development of the game. Of course, I'm just speculating here. What do you guys think of the exclusivity? Does it make you want an Xbox One now (if you didn't want one already)?
  9. http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=87628981&postcount=1056 Some interesting info spilled by Kevin Dent (a game developer/industry person) on both Xbox One and PS4 on NeoGaf. No way to know if it's 100% accurate, but Dent is a person who is pretty much in the know with the industry, so I'd wager a lot of it is.
  10. It wouldn't be Fall without a proper delay of one of Ubisoft's titles, would it? Of course not, and Ubisoft seems to agree as they announced that the highly anticipated Watch_Dogs and next generation racing exclusive, The Crew, will now be releasing in 2014. The delay is unfortunately a by-product of the fact that Ubisoft is projecting an 88 million dollar loss by the end of the fiscal year. Instead of the 1.94 billion they had expected to make, it is now projected that they will make around 1.38 billion instead. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guilletmot mentioned that the delay wasn't taken lightly, and that he wanted to secure the long-term viability of both franchises by ensuring that they receive as much polish as possible and debut at a high quality. In any case, Watch_Dogs' release has now been pushed forward at least four months into Spring 2014, whereas The Crew is being delayed until sometime between April and September. Are you disappointed by the delays for Watch_Dogs and The Crew?
  11. The "Father of Survival Horror" Shinji Mikami will be showing off his latest original work The Evil Within at the Tokyo Game Show slated for this week. For those of us without a round-trip ticket to Japan, Bethesda has released a gameplay trailer giving a glimpse of the terror to come. Centering on the Detective Sebastion and his partner as they rush to the scene of a bloody mass murder, he sent to a nightmare realm where the demons of reality mesh with the demons of his psyche. It all carries a spirit of the Silent Hill series which can be nothing but a good thing. The Evil Within is in development for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC and is slated for release in 2014.
  12. Saying that I love the Metal Gear Solid series would be putting it lightly. The truth is that I absolutely adore it. I've played every game in the series multiple times, I've hunted for secrets along with every other fan and I've even written a few speculation pieces on the games themselves. Keeping up with the news coming out about the latest game in the series and the thought processes of the developers behind the scenes that make these games happen has led me to one conclusion. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain might actually be the last MGS game that Kojima makes. I know he's said that he was done with the series at least a hundred times over the last decade or so, but this time he might actually be done. Now, why might I think this? Well, let me explain... The Gameplay Has Become More Accessible While I haven't personally played the game yet, it's obvious from the many gameplay videos floating around the internet that things have changed in a very big way. Gone are the corridors and grid-like level design. The possibility to run and gun your way to a mission objective is greater than ever, and for one of the first times ever, the game will be releasing on four different consoles at the same time. The most exposure an MGS title has ever had. They might not be as well known as LEGO, but they're still pretty good But what does all this have to do with Kojima stepping down from the stealth action genre? It is a bit of a leap, but just take a look at the gameplay videos. Do they really look like something you would see in a normal MGS game? No, not at all! If anything, they look more like something you would see in a game like Red Dead Redemption. Now, this isn't a bad thing in the slightest. What it means is the new direction of the series is going to look more like something other developers will be capable of doing if they were given the reigns of this beast of a series. Instead of having to worry about mimicking the MGS style, they'll be able put their own twist on it with the freedom given to them with the open-world system. Don't think Konami would ever pass the MGS series onto another company? They kind of already have. Metal Gear Solid Remakes Recently (in the last few weeks) Kojima revealed that he and Konami might be looking for someone to remake the original Metal Gear Solid using their fancy new Fox Engine. That in itself is pretty cool news. Getting to really go back to Shadow Moses with this fancy new tech would just be the bee's knees. But the fact that they're looking for a different company to make it raises some alarm bells in my mind. Yup. Another one. Again, not bad alarm bells. It's more of a "Hey, wait a second," type of alarm system. The fact that they're possibly passing on the most iconic game in their series to another company along with their most powerful game-making tools tells me that they're testing another company to see how they do. The reason they're doing this with the first game in the series and not say, Metal Gear Solid 6, is because they want to see if another company can successfully make it feel like the original MGS game. If they can make the fans even somewhat happy, then imagine what they could do if given the okay to make the next main title game. They Already Replaced Everybody Else If you're into gaming in any way shape or form, then you probably know that David Hayter has been replaced by Keifer Sutherland as the voice of Big Boss. Even if you haven't played the series, you probably heard about the news somewhere. It still eats me up inside knowing that Hayter is gone, but there might be more of a reason for it than what we've heard from Kojima. All of the voice actors we've lost... I can still feel them Now, I've got two different theories going along with this one here. The first one goes like this: When you think of Snake, you think of David Hayter as the voice. Or Kurt Russell if you're weird. The point is, up until the Phantom Pain reveal, David Hayter pretty much was Snake. Now that that tie has been severed, Konami has been given the chance to create a new Snake, and along with him, a new game. If there is no place for Hayter, then perhaps the place for Kojima will be opening up soon as well. The more changes they make, the easier it'll be to switch Kojima out with someone new if they wanted to. It would be a difficult thing to get over, but if things work with the Metal Gear Solid remake, that just might be what happens. Kojima Goes To Hollywood Here is my second theory on why Kojima would leave the game series. While I can't speak for the man himself, it seems Kojima has always wanted to just make movies. Of course, he ended up making games for most of his life, but now he has a real chance to make the jump thanks to the switch from David to Keifer. Not only does Keifer voice Snake, but they even changed the way Snake looks to better match Keifer's mocap. He'll go down in history as a monster It isn't too big of a leap to see Keifer Sutherland getting the part of Big Boss in the eventual movie announcement seeing as the character is now modeled off of him. While Kojima probably wouldn't be able to direct the movie, you just know that he would be a big part of the creation process. And thanks to his new found work relationship with Keifer, he should find it rather easy to get Keifer to work with him. While all of these theories and possibilities do require a bit of a leap to seem believable, just remember that I've actually gotten a few of these right before. Could we really be seeing a new director for the game series? Is there a possibility that Kojima could be grooming Keifer for an impending movie role? Why not say what you think in the comments below? As always, thank you for reading.
  13. Marcus Estrada

    Gamescom 2013: ID@Xbox Program Announced

    Microsoft has been having a really tough time due to many of the things they initially stated about the system. One big issue was the concept that every game would require a publisher to make it onto Xbox One. They have since stated they still have a commitment to indies though and today's announcement also points in this direction. Independent Developers @ Xbox is a new program specifically designed for indies. It is made so that they can self-publish digital games on Xbox One. Not only that, it also grants users free access to devkits. Of course, small developers who find a publisher can still enter their games into the marketplace as well, just not through ID@Xbox. However, this is not yet the dream machine for hobby game creators. it is for "qualified game developers". This is dependent on a set of standards that Microsoft is not fully explaining at the moment. What we do know is that prospective developers have to have created at least a few games before on some platform.
  14. At the end of the day, gaming fans are going to judge video game systems off how good their games are. In the modern era it seems that it is harder for a console to maintain tons of exclusives, which is why gamers can then focus on secondary features of systems to compare. The Xbox One has a lot of cross-platform titles, but exclusives as well. Here is a list of games that Microsoft announced as being exclusive to the system (of course, some of these may be timed exclusives): Below Crimson Dragon D4 Dead Rising 3 Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved Forza Motorsport 5 Halo Killer Instinct Kinect Sports Rivals LocoCycle Minecraft: Xbox One Edition Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Powerstar Golf Project Spark Quantum Break Ryse: Son of Rome Sunset Overdrive Titanfall Zoo Tycoon Overall, Microsoft states that 38% of their launch lineup is devoted to exclusives. In general, this lineup might spur some interest, but we will need to see what the PlayStation 4 has to offer first. If you want to see all the launch titles (not just exclusives) then head to the official news post.
  15. After the hate storm that was E3, Microsoft caved into the consumer“s demands and switched the DRM policies. Now we can trade our games without restrictions just like before! The status quo stays! It“s been one month since E3 and the DRM switch. What exactly will this effect have on the gaming industry? Just handing over the game Things will stay the same (for the most part). This is the obvious result, and exactly what the customers wanted. But that means that things aren“t changing at all, and isn“t that what happens almost every new generation? As I had talked about before, this generation is not providing anything substantially new. This past generation (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3) provided an online community for each system, and that was the substantial new piece of growth. My hope and speculation is that indie game developers are given a chance, like what Sony and the PS4 is doing, and can really show how creative games can get, as the expectations for these AAA games tend to be high, and they can“t always deliver. Indie games may be experimental in nature, or too short for someone to want to buy it and commit to said buy. However, indie games may actually be the “new innovation†that we all are looking for. Journey has received rave reviews in how few actions you can make. It has been announced that Sony is giving Indie developers a chance with the Playstation 4. The OUYA was released last month, and it“s basically an Android console. That“s a completely digital market already. Another reason why things will stay the same is that consoles are slower to adapt. This is because a game console is a set product, and the games made for consoles are mostly set products, unlike the potentially ever-expanding MMO games. Computers can be upgraded with parts in order to handle better graphics, or increase RAM. There is also the modding community when it comes to the consoles, but not everyone does this. There is DLC around, and that can make a game last much longer, but not every game will get DLC. In other words, most console games are expected to last only so long. 2. The inevitability of all digital is only delayed There is also the case of same day digital releases. While the price is the same as grabbing a hard disc, that still doesn“t change the fact that there is a digital release. While some see digital as an inevitable event, some fear this as well. Once everything goes digital, much like in the mobile market, it becomes harder to trade, borrow, or lend games. The Xbox One“s original plan was that one could share copies of their games by allowing only a certain number of people to access the account. It“s possible that Microsoft“s plan with the Xbox One could have been what it sees as something that will happen in the console market one day. With everything eventually going digital (just look at the PC market and Steam), and consoles acting more and more like computers, won“t there be more protection attached to games or accounts? Again, the hindrance to consoles and handheld markets is that they lack the flexibility of computers, and a new console does not get released every few years. A console is generally deemed to last at least 7 years, and changing rules and policies halfway into a machine“s lifespan probably isn“t the best option. So Microsoft answered to the fans callings and threats. I can say that I“m relieved about being able to let my friends borrow a hard copy if they want to. Do you think that one day consoles will follow the mobile game route? I think it is an inevitable event, but I can at least say that hard copies will be around for a little while longer.
  16. So Microsoft has had a pretty rocky start with their next generation console, the Xbox One. This isn't entirely the fault of the console though. While they're pushing away their core market by adding in all of these other features that nobody really wants, the main problem they're dealing with is customer trust. In the months leading up to this announcement they've had a tough time with DRM rumors. And now that the console is out in the open, these rumors have only gotten worse thanks to a series of he said she said articles being posted on the web. While we still don't have a clear and honest answer from Microsoft, I can safely say it is looking incredibly bad for the electronics giant. But it doesn't have to be that way. Here is how Microsoft can win this generation in three simple steps. Step One: Give The Xbox One A Voice The moment people could talk to their 360's is the same moment people's 360's should have been able to talk back to them. People want to experience (a word Microsoft loves) the future of technology, and a seemingly sentient console would have been the perfect way to pull this off last generation. Of course the problem here was that the Kinect appeared late in the console's life and developer's understanding of the peripheral was still just starting to flourish. But that shouldn't be a problem for a console that has made the newer and more powerful Kinect 2 mandatory for every single one of their consoles to function. Not only will everyone have to make use of the peripheral on day one, but they'll also have past experience from the last few years of tinkering with the original version of the device on the Xbox 360. Now, what do I mean by a console that can talk back to you? I nominate Ellen McLain for the female Xbox One voice. Well I'll get into that in a bit, but first let's talk about how it needs to be set up. Microsoft can't just throw Microsoft Sam onto every Xbox One and call it a day. They'll need to hire at least one actor and actress to fill the roles of your Xbox One guide. And then they need to lock those two people down into contracts forever, because their voices will be the Xbox One's Kevin Butler. Every advertisement and every big reveal would have to include those voices. If done right, potential buyers will become familiar with them before they ever even considered buying a console. Microsoft needs an advertising gimmick, and a talking Xbox would fill that role perfectly. But now we're going to get into the crazy stuff. Give The Voice Personality Now, just what do I mean by giving the Xbox One the ability to talk to you? A simple yes and no system wouldn't suffice at this point in history. That would just be embarrassing. If Microsoft wanted this to work, they would have to give the voices personality. The best example I can think of that would accurately show off what I mean would be the game Seaman for the Dreamcast. I hate how much this game title appears in my search history. In it you take care of little fish people who occasionally ask you questions about yourself while also appearing extremely lifeless and cold. It was clunky and slow going, but to be fair, this is from a game released over a decade ago. And it was also absolutely phenomenal stuff back then. What Microsoft needs to do is make that the Kinect 2's whole gimmick. Not only should they put in a voice that responds to your commands, they should put in a voice that asks you questions and remembers what you tell it. It would essentially be a disembodied Project Milo, a game I was so hyped up for that I ignored all of the Kinect's other flaws. Of course Project Milo never surfaced, but perhaps his tech demo could be used to make my dream come true with the Kinect 2. Make It Personal To The User So now the Xbox has a voice and an interesting personality. What else does it need? Well, we're going to go back to the game Seaman for a bit. In the game you usually had between three and five little fishmen. Instead of forcing you to grow a bond with each and every one individually, the game gave you the ability to name them. Of course they couldn't say their own name, but they reacted whenever you said it. And that was pretty impressive for decade old technology. While I'd still be just as impressed today if another company pulled it off successfully, there is actually another reason I'm bringing this up, and its griefing related. During the Xbox One reveal, people watching the show on their Xbox's were subject to frequent pauses and complete closure of their streams due to the commands being said to the new Kinect. This image will make sense in a minute. Just keep reading. Since everyone will have a Kinect 2 hooked up to their Xbox One, then it isn't too much of a stretch to imagine people being able to hijack their opponents Kinects simply by yelling commands into their own and having everyone else's Kinects pick up on it. While this would be hilarious, giving the Kinect a name would help cut down on issues like this. Instead of saying "Xbox, turn on." you could say "[iNSERT NAME HERE], turn on." But we're going to take it one step further. We're going to go the companion route. Look at games like Bioshock: Infinite. While the game has been out for about a month, people are still actively talking about it and posting things on the web. Why are they doing this? Its all because of the character Elizabeth, and people's tendency to grow attached to her. If Microsoft can give their Kinect's male and female voice a pleasant enough personality, then people will become attached to them the same exact way. No longer will you be reading about people calling Elizabeth their waifu, instead you'll be seeing people calling the Xbox One itself their waifu. Its a hilarious thought, but you all know it would work in Microsoft's favor. A never ending stream of constant discussion on the internet about each person's own console and how their personality has developed over this next generation paired up with the ravenous fanbase of people declaring their actual love to their consoles? Its a win win for Microsoft, and they know they can do it if they only tried. As always, thank you for reading.
  17. Edit: This was a rumor earlier in the day but has since been confirmed by Microsoft as true. Yay, indies are able to be on Xbox One again! The question is now if they will even want to. The original story is posted below. Game Informer is reporting some big news today. According to their sources, Microsoft is preparing a way for independent developers to publish their games on the upcoming Xbox One. Previously, the rule being touted was that you would need a publisher in order to get a title on the system. Considering other game companies have been moving toward indie game distribution, Microsoft was the main one pushing in the opposite direction. Hopefully these sources prove correct and we hear official confirmation soon, as Microsoft will miss out on many important indie games in the future if they don't switch course. In an other reveal, these same sources also said that there will not be a need for debug/developer consoles on Xbox One. Instead, any retail unit can have its console ID authorized for running code. This would be a step up from the current Xbox 360 although even retail systems could still run pre-release code with small hardware modifications. In either case, if this is also true then it would allow more developers access to development on Xbox One.
  18. If only the people working in and around Microsoft could get their facts straight at once before blabbing about features and requirements! Just last week the developers of Forza Motorsport 5 were discussing their new game. They stated that the Xbox One game required a day one download in order to play, as it features cars and tracks that were completed after the game discs were being printed. Now we hear that, yes, the download is still required but only if you want to "beat the game". These details were clarified to IGN but still leave things pretty complex. Here is some of what Dan Greenwalt is saying now: "This download is simply additional cars and tracks. The gameplay is not blocked while downloading the additional content; it's done in the background just like disc install. Deeper areas in the career mode were designed to utilize these additional cars and tracks. In the beginning of the game, the player will be racing against Drivatars that are contained on the disc and were trained by the [Turn 10] team," he explained. "While playing, the player will be asked to connect to Live in order to download a completely fresh set of player-created Drivatar opponents - it's not a lot of data, but the download contains enough Drivatars to cover all difficulty settings." In some ways, it sounds like nothing has changed. For example, will the game also cease functioning if you can't get the new Drivatars when prompted? That goes against the other notion being presented that there is only a required download for later cars and tracks. In any case, we're very curious about how this will all play out during the Xbox One launch.
  19. Video games are something that we all have in common. No matter what genres you“re into, or what consoles (or PC) you affiliate with, it doesn“t change the fact that we all spend at least some portion of our time with video games. So, now that Microsoft has stepped away from their much hated DRM plans for Xbox One, many are now able to accept the system as something possibly worth purchasing down the line. I was one such person who was not pleased with the direction Microsoft was pursuing, but even now, there is very little currently luring me to the system. What would it take to get me to want to own the system? I do not oppose it on the fact that they ever attempted to do “anti-consumer” things, but simply see little of interest to my tastes. There are definitely some games that I loved that came exclusively to Xbox and Xbox 360, though. If some of these titles were reborn then I would be ready to jump into a midnight launch line to pick up the Xbox One. Breakdown Namco provided an incredibly unique game to Xbox owners in 2004 with Breakdown. In regards to story, voice acting, and visuals, it isn“t the most stunning thing out there. Instead, what makes this game such an interesting part of gaming history is the viewpoint. Instead of the first-person camera we“re used to where we just see a gun, players were greeted to a set of limbs. Not just limbs for holding a gun and shooting with, either. You were also able to interact with the environment in a multitude of ways, punch and kick people, and view all of this occurring as if it were your body. Now it might not seem that fantastic now but at the time the game was known primarily because of the oddness. As “next gen” is meant to be about experimentation and innovation this would be a great game to revisit. Kameo: Elements of Power Rare has gotten a lot of attention lately due to the reveal of a new Killer Instinct game at E3 2013 (even if it is actually being developed by Double Helix). But what about Kameo: Elements of Power, the property they brought to Xbox 360 for its launch in 2005? The action-adventure game was surprisingly fresh for the time and brought bright, lively visuals to a system that would rarely seem them over its own lifespan. If it seemed strangely suited to Microsoft“s system, that“s because it was initially set to be on the GameCube. This may have reflected itself in the relative ease of gameplay, but all the same, it brought an interesting gameplay concept of shape shifting to Microsoft“s box. Why not revitalize and expand upon such elements with the power of a more modern system? Metal Wolf Chaos First off, yes, I“m aware that this video game gem never left Japan. Secondly, that doesn“t mean it was unable to become known by Microsoft and non-Microsoft fans alike as one of the most hilariously “American” games ever made. Sure, it might have been developed by FromSoftware in Japan, but they sure beat us to it. The game focuses on the United States as a country in serious unrest. As the President, you decide to take matters into your hand. Foregoing the House, Senate, and any other sort of governmental decision making, Mr. President jumps into his personal mech and gets to work. Considering the fabulous-looking mech game Titanfall is likely going to be a huge hit for Microsoft platforms, they could use more games of the genre in the future. If only Metal Wolf Chaos 2 could be one of them. Phantom Dust Why on Earth didn“t Phantom Dust take off? It“s hard for me to figure out considering the game is so incredibly fun. Mostly, it must have come down to the Xbox userbase at the time who found themselves more compelled by standard Western games than anything niche. Obviously that is not true of all players, but what a shame. Phantom Dust was in fact developed by Microsoft Game Studios but you“d likely never realize it while playing. The game seems far more like an interpretation of Jojo“s Bizarre Adventure than Halo. This is likely due to the design aid of Yukio Futatsugi who crafted the much-loved Panzer Dragoon. Considering that Futatsugi is already involved with Microsoft again for Crimson Dragon, this may be the most likely possible sequel on my list! Yes, a lot of the choices are niche but that's what it would take. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are both going to see a lot of sales, but many of those will hedge upon which has the better exclusives - real exclusives. Timed DLC is unlikely to sway consumers nearly as much as full games. Although these four games likely won't come to fruition, or even change perceptions if they did, it would certainly add an air of creativity to the system.
  20. No matter what Microsoft's current stance is on online connectivity, they no doubt had a long period of time where they were informing developers of this infrastructure choice. That seems to be at least part of the reason why developer Turn 10 have gone with an interesting approach for the creation and distribution of Forza Motorsport 5. Speaking with IGN, Dan Greenwalt shared some comments about the game's retail version: “So when you first boot up the game, we“re going to ask you to log in. And when you log in you“re going to get the Drivatars and you“re also going to get a whole bunch of content: tracks and cars. Our production schedule is such that we are putting them in as late as possible and that means making them free as downloadable content on Day One. That is required content to play the game. We basically have designed the game to work with all that content no matter how late is coming in, in order to make the biggest game possible.” What this all means is that when you purchase the retail disc at a store you are going to encounter a big download upon putting it into the Xbox One when you get home. The intent is to offer up players as much content with their game as possible up front. This is a lovely idea, and better than paid day one DLC, but is still a bit of a hindrance for anyone with a slow connection, considering it is required to play the game at all. On the plus side, as the data is downloaded you will be able to hop into a match. From then on you won't be required to connect to the internet, but if you want more Drivatars that is of course the only way to get them. Forza Motorsport 5 will be out alongside the launch of Xbox One.
  21. Another Assassin's Creed game, another limited edition. This one is sure to please pirate fans out there. For $130, the Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag limited edition (for all platforms except Wii U) comes with the following: A copy of Assassin's Creed IV Steelbook game case Official soundtrack Exclusive 80-page art book Collectible 18" Edward Kenway figurine 28" x 48" iconic pirate flag with crest Assassin's Creed IV releases for PS3, 360, PC and Wii U on October 29th. It will also be available for PS4 and Xbox One.
  22. Leah

    Assassin's Creed 4 CE

    From the album: Leah's News Images

    © Ubisoft

  23. Marcus Estrada

    PS4 Digital Games Can Be Accessed Anywhere

    One of the concepts that seemed positive in the wake of Xbox One's series of missteps was the idea of Family Sharing. If you have ever tried to use your digital collection at a friend's house or elsewhere it is often more of a challenge than it should be. Microsoft has already stated they are likely going to bring it back, but Sony has also shared their intentions for much the same thing. During Devolop, Sony's research and development team leader Neil Brown made the following statement: “You can visit your friends house you can log into your account and play any game from your digital library, which is good. But how useful is that if it takes half a day to download the game you want to play? With Play As You Download you get much quicker access to at least the first section of the game so you can start playing quicker. So this makes a digital library a practical option in the real world.” So not only do they have their own family/friend sharing plan, but they have a way to make it far more useful beyond the concept stages. As Sony previously revealed, they have worked to make sure that games can begin playing shortly even as you download them. Of course, how long that will work in the face of a slow internet connection is not yet known. Would you take advantage of your digital gaming library at a friend's house if the technology works?
  24. The Xbox One has been unable to catch a break these past few months. When word got out that the device would need an online connection every 24 hours, allow used games only in a restrictive capacity, and other reveals, many were angered. Enough so, that Microsoft did a 180 and claimed to "kill off" all of those plans - even the bits that seemed a good step. Since then, a petition has gone up to reinstate the good bits, or at least, the concept of them since Microsoft never outlined all the rules for these fanciful ideas. In response to it, Microsoft's Marc Whitten is reiterating a past statement that these currently nixed features are likely going to return - just not at launch. In particular, the idea of Family Sharing is something they really want to pursue. He spoke with IGN and shared the following comments: “If it“s something that people are really excited about and want, we“re going to make sure that we find the right way to bring it back. A ”road map“ sort of implies more like ”on date X it“s back“ than I think exists, but we believe really strongly in how you build a great experience on Xbox One for me as an individual, but also for my family. Family Sharing is a great example of how you do that with content. I think you“re going to see us, both with examples like that and with other things, keep pushing on how that“s something great. An example is some of the stuff we“re doing with what we announced around Gold, where other people in the house get the advantages of Gold when I“m a Gold member. You“re going to see us continue to push in those areas. I probably should have been more clear. We took some feedback and realized there was some stuff we needed to add to the program. To add it to the program, we had to make room, just from a pure engineering perspective, to be able to get that work done. So taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about ”we“re going to take our toys and go home“ or something like that. It was just sort of the logistics of ”how do we get this very, very clear request that people really want, that choice, and how do we make sure we can do an excellent job of that, get to launch, and then be able to build a bunch of great features?“" Would Microsoft regain some ground if they did return the positive online features of Xbox One without the more restrictive elements?
  25. http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/07/11/fans-petition-for-microsoft-to-restore-original-xbox-one-policies?utm_campaign=fbposts&utm_source=facebook Apparently this guy have gotten 12,000 signatures already. I personally don't think xbox would do this unless they want only 12,000 units sold. But then again, this could be a good excuse for them to reimplement some of those original features.
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